A Sotheby’s real estate agent was beaten to death with a baseball bat and her stepson is now facing charges in the brutal murder at her gated community home in New Jersey, authorities said.
Irma Daniels, 48, was found dead in her $864,000 three-bedroom home in Cresskill. Investigators said she died from blunt force trauma.
Police believe her husband’s son, John Daniels Jr., 30, committed the killing.
Police officers found Daniels’ battered body after responding to an 911 call on Stonegate Trail in Cresskill at 6:46 p.m. Wednesday, the Bergen County Attorney’s Office said.
Daniels, who was said to be on the run, was tied up Thursday, a day after the disturbing discovery, prosecutors said.
His father, attorney John A. Daniels Sr., 63, identified him as the killer, the Daily Voice reported.
The younger Daniels was charged with murder, obstructing arrest and unlawful possession of firearms and was sent to Bergen County Jail on Thursday, the media outlet said.
A neighbor said the suspect was acting strangely.
“He was oddly sprinting from one driveway to the next. Don’t sprint to practice. “He didn’t want to make eye contact,” said the resident, who asked not to be named.
“One day I saw him pacing in front of someone else’s house. It was like he was walking around with an angry and upset expression on his face. He looked confused. And I was like, ‘Somebody’s going to call the cops about this guy.'”
The victim, who was from Moscow, Russia, shared a now heartbreaking post about her on Aug. 15 Facebook Page that spotlights scenic shots of their homeland.
“Returning to my roots. My beautiful motherland with breathtaking Caucasian mountains, ancient culture, heartbreaking history and graceful and noble people. Proud to be Circassians,” she wrote.
The Facebook page also said Daniels has been married since 2011 and is an agent salesperson at Prominent Properties Sotheby’s International Realty.
In March, she loudly announced that she had received the company’s Circle of Excellence award after seven years in the real estate industry.
“I did it… Looking back at the start of this new journey, I will never forget how tough the first two years were, with no deals, no customers, no guidance or support from the company I started with . I was ready to give up. It’s been a long road to where I am now. I have achieved everything through perseverance, work ethic, failure, creative spirit and most importantly my attitude of not giving up.”
Eerily, Irma Daniels died in a fancy townhouse resembling the one where she made her living.
The accused killer appears to have been unemployed.
Daniels received an MBA from Boston College Carroll School of Management in May 2022 and had previously worked as a marketing manager for Benzel-Busch Motor Car for a year, according to his LinkedIn and Facebook page.
Cresskill has a population of 9,000 and is located 16 miles from Manhattan.